Friday, March 21, 2008

The Florida Tour

****** Tampa, Avon Park, Venice and Coral Gables, Florida, March 13-18: Arbors Records assembled a splendid group of musicians called The Statesmen Of Jazz for these concerts at which I sang some songs I like. These are the excellent musicians I had the pleasure to work with: Butch Miles, Nicki Parrott, Randy Sandke, Howard Alden, Bucky Pizzarelli, Ken Peplowski, Harry Allen, Wycliffe Gordon, Derek Smith, Jon-Erik Kellso, John Allred, Aaron Weinstein. A special tribute to legendary bass player Bob Haggart was the theme of the Venice concert, and the proceedings were guided by another legend, the exceptional Dick Hyman.

****** The Venice Tribute to Bob Haggart provided a rare but truly sensational chance for us to hear the remarkable Danish violinist Sven Asmussen, a most charming man and brilliant musician. His performance brought the house down.

****** On Monday, March 17, I welcomed about 25 gifted jazz vocal students to an informal workshop on the campus of The Frost School of Music, University of Miami at Coral Gables. It wasn't on the schedule and I certainly had no way of knowing in advance, but my good friend, powerful singer Tierney Sutton was not only in town too, but came along with Shelly Berg, the School's Director. I insisted she join me for the workshop. The students were thrilled by her presence, and she offered much insight and solid advice. The two and half hours sped by, each student demonstrated fledgling ability and technique, but each possessed a good sense of time and pitch. Tierney and I enjoyed ourselves immensely, so thanks to all of you who worked with us. Please let me know when and if you produce a cd.

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